Now that Major Attaway has had his wish granted, he has assumed the role of wish granter – actually, one of the best-known wish granters: Genie in the Broadway play “Aladdin.” The Theatre Arlington veteran recently segued from stand-by to star in the acclaimed production, taking over the Genie role last month.
He replaced James Monroe Iglehart, who won a Tony for originating the role in the Disney musical and who made his final appearance as Genie at the New Amsterdam Theatre on Feb. 19 before joining the cast of Hamilton.
“Aladdin” represents Attaway’s Broadway debut. His regional credits include “Ragtime,” “Big River,” “The Mikado,” “Hand on a Hardbody,” “Little Shop of Horrors,” “Ain’t Misbehavin’” and “Rent” – after launching his career at venues in the DFW Metroplex, including Theatre Arlington.
“Making my Broadway debut in ‘Aladdin’ was an affirmation beyond imagining,” Attaway said in a statement. “I get to play a catalyst for joy and hope, and I’m really looking forward to moving into the lamp on a full-time basis; I’ve got some BIG TEX-an ideas for redecorating!”
While Attaway is well known throughout North Texas for his local performances on stage, he also has done a lot of voice-over work in animated films and for video games. Now, he’s not just talking or acting; he is also literally dancing his way into the hearts of audience members in the country’s premiere theatrical showcase.
“I’m tap dancing on Broadway, which is pretty spectacular,” the Fort Worth native told his former local newspaper, the Star-Telegram, last month. Dancing is just one of the many talents he is displaying in his new role, for which he underwent a rigorous training regimen to lose 50 pounds so he could perform the many dance routines required of the character.
That kind of determination is nothing new for the 28-year-old Attaway. When he was a child, he suffered from Blount’s disease, a growth disorder of the shin bone that required surgery to correct.
According to nbcdfw.com, he recalled what he was thinking as he was being prepared for the operation: “When I was lying in bed, waiting for surgery and the anesthesia was taking over, I said I was scared, but I have to do this so I can be on Broadway.”
Some two decades later, he is on Broadway. His wish was granted. And now he gets the opportunity to grant some wishes of his own.